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88                               SHIPPING PRACTICE

familiar class "Ai," which   has passed into everyday
language as symbolic of excellence.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the ship-
owners, dissatisfied with an alteration in the method of
classification in the Green Book, started their own Register,
which was known as the "Shipowners' Register" or "Red
Book." In almost everything but name the new Register
was a replica of the old, and for over thirty years intense
rivalry was maintained, greatly to the detriment of the
Registries, which fell into disrepute. Funds dwindled to
vanishing point as subscribers fell away, and in 1833 the
Committee of Lloyd's, fearing that the shipping community
might be left without a Register at all, sought the basis of an
agreement for amalgamation. A provisional committee was
formed for the purpose, drawn from representatives of
Lloyd's and the London General Shipowners' Society, from
whose deliberations emerged a re-constituted Society to be
known as Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign
Shipping.

Now, for the first time, was the survey and classification
of shipping placed on a sound basis. Well-qualified sur-
veyors were appointed at most of the principal ports in the
United Kingdom under a Committee of Management in
London drawn from elected representatives of the under-
writers at Lloyd's, shipowning members of the London
General Shipowners* Society, and merchants; the income
of the re-constituted Society was safeguarded by the
application of approved scales of fees for surveys payable
by owners seeking classification, and the Register Book
was made public and more easily accessible to all by a
sweeping reduction in its price.

Rules and regulations governing the construction and
maintenance of shipping were laid down and afterwards
added to with each new development of marine transport
and propulsion; and at the present day the rules of the
Society are universally recognized as the standard of best
practice in naval architecture and marine engineering,
From wood to iron, iron to steel, sail to steam, and steam